Behind the Wheel: Your New Teen Driver

TEEN DRIVERIt seems just like yesterday your child was pedaling around in a plastic two-seater “car”. Now they are begging you to get their learner’s permit!  When your teen is ready to get their license and start driving, there are many precautions you can take as a parent to ensure your teen’s safety. By properly insuring all drivers in your family, you can ensure their safety behind the wheel.  

While they are learning the rules of the road, you can educate yourself and start planning out the details of what it will be like to have a new driver on your insurance. Although proper coverage for a teen driver generally means higher rates, there are many ways to save money:

  • Insuring multiple vehicles: Having a multi-car discount is very common, especially for families who have more than one child of driving-age. If there are multiple vehicles on a single policy, a multi-car discount will generally be automatically applied.
  • Increasing deductible rates: The higher the deductible, the less risk the insurer will take, thus lowering the premium. Consumers can save close to 9% in premium costs if the deductible is raised from $500 to $1,000. Talk to your agent to learn about local-specific rates and discounts.
  • Teen discounts: Get your child involved! For many companies, if your teen driver gets good grades, they will provide a discount that can lower your insurance premiums. Also look into enrolling your teen in a safe-driving course, which insurance companies also reward with discounts.
  • Clean driving record: The fewer accidents or tickets you have, the more steady your insurance rates. Encourage your children to practice safe driving by not using their cellphones while driving or anything on that will distract them from being alert while driving.

Talk to your local agent to find out which discounts you qualify for when adding a new driver to your policy. Who doesn’t love safety while saving money? Start today!

Practicing Safety for Back to School

It’s that time of the year! Kids and their parents are flooding the nearest stores to get backpacks, pencils, notebooks and other school supplies before the school year starts. Making sure that kids have the necessities is very important, but ensuring they are safe at school is also critical. Safety starts with the students’ environment, especially in school zones.

In order to ensure the safety of children, there are a number of steps that can be taken in key areas: school buses, playgrounds, and driving zones.  Check out these tips to help you prepare before the school year starts:

School Buses:

  • Do not shout on the bus or distract the bus driver. Shouting and extra noise can distract a bus driver or prohibit them from hearing oncoming sirens from police or ambulances.
  • Do not walk in the driver’s blind spot. A school bus’s blind spot is from the front bumper to to roughly 10 feet in front of the bus.
  • Children must wait to get on or off the bus until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
  • When on the bus, children must be seated at all times to prevent injuries or being thrown from the back or front of the bus. Children must also keep all body parts inside of the bus, i.e head, arms and legs.
  • Make sure that children stay on the sidewalk or designated waiting area until the bus comes.  Prevent them from playing in the street and potentially getting hurt while oncoming traffic is approaching.

Playgrounds:

  • Alert someone at the school if something looks peculiar or unsafe on the playground.
  • Be mindful of any sharp or pointy edges. Also check to see if there is any equipment that may cause strangulation.
  • There should be a supervisor or multiple supervisors watching the kids at all times to make sure they aren’t wandering off to places they aren’t supposed to or jumping off of ledges, ramps, ladders, etc.

Driving in school zones:

  • Be mindful of drop-off and pick-up zones. Do not block or use emergency school lanes and do not use handicapped spots unless you have  a handicap pass.
  • Do not text while driving in school zones
  • Do not pass drivers or change lanes in a school zone
  • Watch out for children running or crossing the street
  • Look out for school zone signals and obey the speed limits.

Seeing so many hazards can be scary and overwhelming, but by knowing the surroundings, studying these tips, and taking the appropriate steps, one will be better prepared and ensure a successful school year for all children!

This is our Story

Thomas & Grushon Insurance Agency was founded in 1960 by Charles Thomas and James W. Grushon. Located in the heart of downtown Bellbrook, Ohio, Thomas & Grushon has been serving the community by providing insurance solutions for homes and businesses across the Miami valley. In 1982, one of our founders, Charles Thomas, tragically died of a heart attack.  At this point, James’ sons, Jim and Mike Grushon, took over management and operations. Together, they built a company that is still serving the community today. In 2015, Mike Grushon stepped down as Agency President to accept a top position with Ohio Insurance Agents Association.

In an effort to pass on the excellent legacy and move Thomas & Grushon into a powerful position for future generations, Jim Grushon decided to bring in new agents and a new management team.  Grushon has been a name well known in the Bellbrook and Xenia community, and that legacy continues today with the addition of Jim Grushon’s daughter, Gwen Grushon-Price, who is agency principal with a specialty in Life Insurance.  Our other skilled agents include Ashley Abner, who is head of operations, Titus Sullivan, who specializes in commercial insurance and agency marketing, and Josie Armstrong, who provides customer support and quality training. Along with the new agents, Debbie Sullivan and Ronda Tirey bring 25+ years of insurance expertise to our agency. We pride ourselves in being an active member of the community and look forward to serving you for years to come.